In many countries, genuine solutions against the virus have been replaced with false action. Millions of people still remain out of work, and the rest of us who have a job, are Zoom-burned-out. Domestic violence has increased globally,
alcohol consumption has risen, and many adults exhibit symptoms of depression or COVID-19 blues.
There is Another Loneliness
During the last glacial period, between 32,000 and 40,000 years ago, global temperatures were lower, and foragers who settled in frostier climates lived a different kind of lockdown.
For the several cool months that followed, gathering was nearly impossible and hunting far more treacherous. Winter season dictated the pace of life and work—it was time to stay put.
It’s also the time where anthropologists and archeologists indicate Homo sapiens have crossed a pivotal cognitive threshold. Inspired in solitude, our ancestors created art. The busy minds of early humans would have been entertained by imaginative stories, ceremonies and shamanic journeys, while dexterous fingers demanded concentration, precision and practice to master new skills.
Diligence and wit have worked together to create the most famous pieces of pre-history art. Among them, carved out of mammoth ivory, is the Löwenmensch
, “Lion Man”. It was built between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, and it helps us reflect on the techniques, tools, and efforts needed to endure a highly complex, time-consuming task.
Let’s go back even further. Roughly around 73,000 and 77,000 years ago, we’ll find the oldest pieces of symbolic art. Recovered from the Blombos Cave
in South Africa, the shell necklace was made by much less practised hands (but not less skilful) than those that made the Lion Man.